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Advanced Learner Loan


Whether a learner can qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan depends on their:

  • course information including what they're studying and where
  • age
  • nationality and residency status
  • previous study

We’ve created an eligibility tool for learners considering an Advanced Learner Loan.

Course information

If the course started on or after 1 August 2016

The learner must be 19 or older on the first day of their course.

The course must be:

If the course started before 1 August 2016

The learner must be 24 or older on the first day of the course.

The course must be:

Advanced Learner Loans are not available for Higher National Qualification (HND) courses or Advanced/Higher Apprenticeships, where other funding applies.

Course Length

The course must be at least 2 weeks to be eligible for funding, but there's no maximum time limit in which a learner has to complete their course. However, there are maximum limits on how long we can pay a loan for. 

Learning Aim Maximum Time Limit
A Level 2 years
Access to HEI 2 years
Certificates 2 years
Diplomas 3 years

Nationality or residency status

Learners must usually:

  • be living in the UK on the first day of their course
  • have been ordinarily resident in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting their course
  • be a UK national or have ‘settled status’
    (this means there are no restrictions on how long they can stay)

Learners may also qualify if they’re:

  • a UK national, or someone with settled status, but they live somewhere else in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • an EU national or a family member of one
  • not a UK national but they have lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of their life)
  • a refugee or the relative of one
  • an EEA or Swiss migrant worker, or the relative of one
  • the child of a Swiss national
  • the child of a Turkish worker
  • granted humanitarian protection or the relative of someone who has been granted humanitarian protection
  • a stateless person ( including eligible family members).
  • granted leave to remain or a child of someone granted leave to remain, under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016.

To be eligible under section 67 you must have been living in the UK for at least three years before the first day of the first academic year of your course.


Learners who live outside England may also be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan if they're:

  • a serving member of the UK armed forces
  • the spouse/civil partner of a serving member
  • a child, step-child or adoptive child living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving outwith England
  • a dependent parent living with a serving member

Previous Study

Learners can usually get a maximum of 4 Advanced Learner Loans.

The exception to this is if they're studying an AS or A level where they can apply for up to 8 Loans, and can still get a further 3 loans for courses that are not AS/A Levels. Previous educational study will not affect a learner’s entitlement to their first FE loan.

Students will be able to get up to 4 loans for the same type of vocational qualification. However, they'll still only be entitled to one loan for a programme for A Levels or Access to HE Diploma.